An artistic masterpiece from the early 1950's, this episode of "Howdy Doody" comes from the 1st of April, 1952. As such, the episode starts with a practical joke which probably annoyed many people. This episode also contains lots of advertising for the sponsors, including Colgate Dental Cream and Kellogg's cereal. Like many TV broadcasts from this period, this episode features some talk about elections, though in a safe and light-hearted manner suited to the program's young audience.
October 17, 2009 Subject:
I just wonder. Were minority children, such as Afro-American, allowed in the Peanut Gallery? I do not recall ever seeing even one.
August 5, 2009 Subject:
Howdy Doody- the invasion of TV into Americana
There's actually a book out there that really educates us to the phenomenon of tube stare-ing written by the son of one of the show's staffers.
Things you may not know about the Howdy Doody show from the book . . . .
To get into the 'Peanut Gallery' - you hadda know somebody - and have LOTTA OF REAL PULL ! ! ! These were the proginy of legislators, BIG Executives, Royalty, Sponsors' OWNERS, Board Chairs... and VERY BIG MOO000LA ! !
Rehearsals for the show were kept secret not to preserve the spontinaity of the program but because those participants were a REALLY Bawdy Bunch.
Buffalo Bob was such a Cracker Jack entertainer that he did a morning radio show - the Howdy Doody Show and another radio show in the evenings - EVERY DAY - until his heart gave out forcing him to modify his pace to something more rational. Western sidekick for many-a-horse Opera hero, Gabby Hayes stood in for the recovering Buffalo Bob during the heart attack recovery.
There were TWO Howdy Doody puppets, the spare being referred to as "Double Doody"
A Company page was assigned to ride herd on the diminutive guests... keep them seated and quiet and generally under control... Anyone that cried or still misbehaved at his commands to "SHUT UP ! ! ! - SIDDOWN ! ! !" broadcast with the force an' volume of his former Marine Corps training (He WAS a Marinr Corps combat veteran) was immediately ushered back to Mama, never to be seen on camera again.
During an early episode, that page was accidently seen on camera. The executives were outraged but realizing that accidents do happen and might happen again they put him into a clown suit..... and to keep from having to pay him union scale wages - forbade him to ever be heard on air. He was naturally clumsy, hadn't the first lick of musical talent, and generally the target of consistant slapstick humiliation.
Buffalo Bob took pity on this cheated youth and gave him extra wage/bonus out of his own pocket. That was Page Bobby Keeshan - later (Much later) to become Captain Kangaroo.
The Peanut Gallery participants were aptly named as in their excitement they would pee their pants and the resultant would flow down the bleachers indundating every fanny inline below.
There was a running story or plot-line that would drag on indefinitely...day after day after day after day after week after week after week after week after month after month after month after month.... ad neausium
The book is called, "Hey Kids, What Time Is IT?"
August 5, 2009 Subject:
A Comment From the Peanut Gallery
When I was very small this waa Big Boomer's favorite TV show. Buffalo Bob invented the term "peanut gallery" which was the children in the on camera audience. Enjoy this episode with some very good marionette work.